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Possible to maintain supply while on NuvaRing?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I would first like to say that I know NuvaRing is contraindicated if you are nursing but I have a health problem which necessitates me taking some form of estrogen.

I've recently been diagnosed with lactational atrophic vaginitis. It's a type of vaginitis caused by estrogen levels that are too low due to breastfeeding (although in my particular case I think low estrogen has been a problem of mine for a long time and the breastfeeding is just exasperating the problem). Usually atrophic vaginitis is caused in menopausal women and delivering estrogen to the vagina directly for treatment is recommended. A cream or estrogen only ring is applied.

Unfortunately the estrogen cream's normally prescribed amounts is too low for me and I need a more continuous supply of estrogen. The other option is an estrogen ring (kind of like nuva ring only it's pure estrogen instead) but that seems too harsh and option.

My CNM recommended Nuva Ring but strongly warned me that my milk supply may completely dry up. When I first put the ring in I was trying to wean my 17 month old some to try and help my problem. I had her nursing about 2-3 times/day down from 7 or 8. Within a few hours of inserting the nuva ring my already dwindling supply was down to almost nothing. It really scared me so I started allowing my very appreciative dd to nurse her normal 7 or 8 times/day once again and got my supply back up again within a few days.

I'm not sure if the lower milk supply was solely from nuva ring or if it was from a combination of factors (trying to wean/a recent dose of estrogen cream/nuva ring). Is it possible to keep up supply while on the nuva ring? Any suggestions?

This is just so frustrating for me. I had many problems bonding with dd, problems with PTSD after delivering due to a bad OB and now this. I was so looking forward to extended nursing but if I don't get this straightened out I'm afraid I will have to stop BF'ing.
post #2 of 4
Last year, I got pregnant and then miscarried at 12 weeks. DS was still nursing throughout that time and he was 3-3.5 years old. I most definitely had milk when I got pregnant. After the miscarriage, I went on the Nuvaring... ended up being on it for only a few months, maybe 4. At some point during all this, my milk did dry up. I cannot say for certain what caused the dry up... DS's age? The pregnancy? Nuvaring? I have no idea. I do know that I would not take the chance and go on it again unless my child were already acting like they were wanting to wean, just in case.

In DS's case, he didn't really care that there was no milk. At his age, he was getting virtually all of his nutrition from food and only comfort from nursing and he was content to keep nursing for comfort without any milk. He frequently told me there was no milk, but that he didn't mind "getting milkies with no milk." He didn't wean for another 9-10 months after my milk dried up.

So that's just my story with the nuvaring. Hope it helps.

Just FYI, nuvaring did not upset my reproductive system and I ended up getting pregnant the next cycle after stopping it's use.
post #3 of 4
I've been on NuvaRing and have been on it for 4 1/2 months. I only recently had a drop in supply, but I believe it's due to seeing DS less and less and having to pump.
My midwife recommended NuvaRing as the best hormonal birth control for me to be on for milk supply.

NuvaRing rocks my socks off. Love it. So much better than taking a pill and somehow not as scary as the shot (which I think will for sure make your supply drop).
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Ambrykatt-so sorry to hear about your miss. That is not a nice thing to have to go through. My dd is only 16 months and still very much in love with nursing so I'm hoping that I will have more notice then you seemed to if my supply dropped.

andlee I'm glad to hear it's working out for you. The two of you are giving me some hope.

I was on nuvaRing years ago and I loved it for some reasons but ultimately went off of it because the ring is a little too large to fit comfortably. But it's definitely a better option for me then the estrogen cream I just hope it works.
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